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Transport Security and Supply Chain Crisis

Supply chains continued to be snarled, as another COVID wave threatens the United States and Western Europe. What’s more, global and domestic routes might be down from their pre-pandemic passenger records; but threats to their physical security also remain acute – with the added complication that now, any further entanglement will bring badly backed up supply flows to a crippling halt. What can organisations do?

Threats to transport physical security not new

The transportation sector as a vector for attack isn’t new. Last decade saw sharp increases in the number of individuals inspired to conduct small-scale, randomised acts of violence and terrorism, with the transport sector often singled out.

High-profile Australian transport facilities, for instance, became targets. In 2017, two men linked to the Islamic State were convicted of a foiled Sydney terrorist attack against passenger aircraft.

The plot failed when the overweight bag carrying the bomb could not be checked in at the airport. But should it have succeeded, 400 passengers would have been killed by military-grade explosives concealed inside a meat grinder.

As to be expected, the Government responded to this foiled bomb plot by upgrading airport security and increasing police powers.

Download Security Incident Reporting Compliance in the Transportation Sector Guide

Threats to transport physical security bring regulatory action

So now, the sector must react to the deteriorating threat climate to keep its assets and facilities, customers, employees, and publics safe, while remaining in regulatory compliance. How to go about it?

Well, the operative laws, the Aviation Transport Security Act (ATSA) and Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act (MTOFSA), create legal mechanisms safeguarding against unlawful interference with aviation, maritime transport, and/or offshore facilities respectively – all areas now deeply affected by supply chain jams.

Both laws establish minimum security requirements, placing the onus on industry to develop stringent security programs and plans. Part and parcel of these programs is the effective communication of security information among industry participants and their regulators.

Perhaps the most critical piece of security information that would need to be communicated among industry participants is notification of security incidents. And to that end, both the ATSA and MTOFSA have made provisions for timely reporting.

Once the incident is identified, a report must usually be made as soon as possible, with penalties attaching to those stakeholders who become aware of incidents yet fail to report.

Further, if at the time of making the report, the industry participant does not have required information, but later attains it, that information must also be provided. So, what information must be reported, exactly? The following must usually be included in incident reports:

  • Name, contact number, and email address for the person making the report
  • Title or position held by the person making the report
  • Name of the employer of the person making the report (where applicable)
  • Date of the report
  • Date and time the security incident commenced
  • Date and time the security incident ceased
  • Location of the security incident (including, where applicable, the name and address of the location where the security incident occurred)       
  • Industry participant or participants to whom the security incident directly relates
  • Industry participant or participants who are affected as a result of the security incident
  • Detailed description of the security incident
  • Whether the report is a result of a routine security inspection
  • Steps the industry participant has taken, or is in the process of taking, to ensure the security incident does not occur again.

Sounds like a lot? It is.

Transport stakeholders are dealing with serious disruptions, while the security threat environment remains a key issue, as well. How to maintain compliance while keeping assets and profits safe? Download our guide to transport security compliance to find out.

Download Security Incident Reporting Compliance in the Transportation Sector Guide